Who Said, “Succeed Fast”?

Because he or she was wrong. Very wrong. If you got to read this quote from famous Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor Frankl, you’ll know that success, by its very nature, must “ensue,” and not “be pursued.” I now receive from a good friend a link to a very brief life lesson from radio host/producer Ira Glass, in which he develops the idea of The Gap, that is, the tough times of hard work that lie ahead of you when you undertake any creative activity.

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On Success and Hard Work



Viktor Frankl was Austrian, and Jewish. He was a psychiatrist and neurologist. He founded a whole form of psychotherapy. And he survived Auschwitz, and other concentration camps. This is what he had to say about success:

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

This came about the other day, talking with some tweeps.